On a daily basis we are reminded of the importance of embracing advancements in technology to remain competitive. Such transformation programmes may include the introduction of a single Enterprise Resource Platform for Finance and HR to generate efficiencies and cost reductions, the use of FinTech to enhance the customer experience by creating a quicker and more secure process for transferring money, and the introduction of a cloud-based CRM system to improve customer engagement. Regardless of the technology transformation programme, a number of key steps within the change approach need to be met in order for the implementation to be successful.
The first step should be building a business case for change. Rather than diving in with both feet, it is important to engage the necessary stakeholders within your organisation and identify what is driving the need for change and what measurable benefits are being targeted. This will also help articulate your needs, which will aid an effective procurement process.
Once the appropriate technology has been acquired unfortunately you are only marginally past the start line. Sadly such programmes are not as easy as lifting a piece of technology off the shelf, plugging it in and then switching it on. In basic terms the task you are faced with is to utilise the knowledge of key user groups within your organisation to identify the gaps between the capabilities of the technology and your needs. This phase is often referred to as “Fit-Gap” and will inform your developers of how the technology needs to be tailored. There will however be restrictions as to how much the technical solution can be “customer fitted” to your organisation and you will also want to take the opportunity to introduce efficiencies to ways of working. “Fit-Gap” will also, therefore identify some of the initial change impacts of how your people will need to behave differently as a result of the technology. This will enable your change management team to conduct a full stakeholder analysis of who is impacted both internally and externally as well as planning for leadership alignment, training, culture change and communication interventions. Sometimes the execution of “change interventions” is referred to as the “Get-Fit” phase and is key for the organisation in adopting new ways of working; after all a fancy new technology isn’t much use if your people are over burdened by anxiety and lack engagement, awareness and the required talent.
Another piece of the jigsaw is the decommissioning of legacy systems and the migration of data into the new world which certainly doesn’t come without complexities. You will also need to put all your hard work through User Acceptance Testing, assess business readiness for Go-Live and plan for post Go-Live support.
Innovative technology implementations are critical for remaining at the forefront of the market. In order to realise sustainable benefits however and avoid common pitfalls make sure you know where you are going, why you are going there and how you are going to get there.